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CROMPTON & KNOWLES SALES AND EARNINGS ADVANCE IN QUARTER AND YEAR

 CROMPTON & KNOWLES SALES AND EARNINGS ADVANCE IN QUARTER AND YEAR
 STAMFORD, Conn., Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Crompton & Knowles Corporation (NYSE: CNK), a producer and marketer of specialty chemicals and equipment, announced today that net earnings for the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 28, 1991, increased 19 percent to a record $8.7 million, or 35 cents a share, up from $7.3 million, or 30 cents a share, in 1990. Sales for the quarter increased nine percent to $110.0 million from $101.0 million in the comparable quarter of 1990.
 For the year, net earnings increased 20 percent to $35.9 million, or $1.46 per share, from $30.0 million, or $1.22 per share, in 1990. Sales rose 15 percent to $450.2 million from $390.0 million in 1990.
 "Weak demand persisted in all of the industries served by our company as 1991 ended," said Vincent A. Calarco, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Crompton & Knowles. "However, due to continuing share gains in many of our primary markets and the niche orientation of our products, Crompton & Knowles has been able to continue to improve its performance."
 For the full year, results from Crompton & Knowles' two business segments were as follows:
 Specialty Chemicals
 The company's specialty chemicals segment increased sales by 10 percent in 1991, rising to $340.9 million from $311.0 million the prior year. Operating profit increased by 19 percent to $51.5 million compared with $43.3 million in 1990.
 The company's worldwide dyes business, including the Atlantic acquisition, achieved record unit volume and sales levels. Dyes sales in the United States strengthened during the year's second and third quarters as demand from apparel manufacturers increased to meet customer demand. The year was especially strong for acid and reactive dyes used for action-wear knits and hosiery. Demand for acid dyes for the carpet industry declined, but sales of industrial dyes, especially those for leather goods, increased. While the company's European dyes business had lower sales as a result of a strike at a production facility in Belgium during the first quarter and weakening demand through the year, operating profits were at record levels.
 In Crompton & Knowles' specialty ingredients operations, the core business -- flavored ingredients, sweeteners and additives for the food and pharmaceutical industries -- increased sales from the prior year. These gains were offset by the continuing rationalization of the company's seasonings business.
 Specialty Process Equipment & Controls
 Sales for the specialty process equipment and controls segment were $109.3 million, 38 percent above the prior year's sales of $79.0 million. Operating profit was $20.0 million, 20 percent above 1990's level of $16.6 million.
 Industry demand for extrusion equipment and related controls reflected the continuing weakness of the economy. The company's sales and earnings gains came primarily from the acquisition of the Sterling line of extruders and blow molding equipment, new extrusion systems introduced late in the prior year for recycling plastics and compounding of engineered plastics, and growth of the industrial blow molding equipment business. The equipment order backlog at year-end 1991 was $31 million compared with $35 million at the prior year-end.
 CROMPTON & KNOWLES CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Condensed Statements of Consolidated Earnings
 (In thousands, except per share data)
 Periods Fourth Quarter Year
 Ended 12/28/91 12/29/90 12/28/91 12/29/90
 Net sales $109,975 $100,955 $450,228 $390,032
 Earnings before
 income taxes 13,395 11,046 56,600 47,260
 Income taxes 4,738 3,782 20,659 17,250
 Net earnings $ 8,657 $ 7,264 $ 35,941 $ 30,010
 Net earnings per
 common share $.35 $ .30 $1.46 $ 1.22
 Dividends per
 common share $.13 $.105 $.495 $.3925
 Average shares
 outstanding 24,713 24,484 24,659 24,635
 -0- 1/27/92
 /CONTACT: Yanis Bibelnieks of Bibelnieks Associates, 212-949-2295, for Crompton & Knowles/
 (CNK) CO: Crompton & Knowles Corporation ST: Connecticut IN: CHM SU: ERN


GK-OS -- NY017 -- 3573 01/27/92 09:23 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 27, 1992
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